Robotech: Invasion E3 2004 Impressions

Battle the evil Invid on your Cyclone in this anime-based action game.

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Gathering admits that some fans were dismayed with 2002’s Robotech: Battlecry, so the publisher hopes that the follow-up, Robotech: Invasion, finds a more welcome response. The same team that developed Battlecry is developing invasion, but there are some definite changes in store.

The most obvious difference is that Invasion is set during the Invid saga of Robotech, whereas Battlecry was set during the Macross saga. You play Locke, a freedom fighter in the battle against the alien Invid. Locke’s past is a mystery, since he woke up with amnesia, but he’s a natural leader against the aliens, however.

The game can be played in the first-person and third-person perspectives, so it’s a combination shooter and action game. You’ll be able to switch between the two modes, but you’ll definitely want to switch to third-person when you transform your Cyclone mech into a motorcycle.

We’re told that you’ll want to ride around on the motorcycle when you can, because not only are some levels quite large but also the motorcycle packs powerful missiles that can take down Invid. When you transform to power armor, you’ll have a powerful assault rifle and rocket launcher, but you’ll definitely lose mobility. You’ll also have access to energy weapons, though they'll consume protoculture, the primary energy source in the Robotech universe.

The game looks a lot grittier than Battlecry. Gone is the cel-shading that gave Battlecry its animated look. The graphics are certainly pretty. Furthermore, you can do cool things, like shred an Invid Trooper apart, piece by piece. The battlefield is alive with explosions and rocket trails, and you’ll have computer-controlled teammates in certain missions.

Invasion promises three different endings, and that’s all we dare give out without spoiling the plot. Both the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game will support up to eight players in multiplay. The game is due out later this year.

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